No one has to reiterate that one of the hardest parts of last season’s injury crisis was how it decimated our center-back depth. We all know how hard it was to see Jordan Henderson go deep into that position and then himself get injured out of the season (or was that part just me?).
Preseason has been good to our starting defenders, though - at least the center-backs if not the left backs. Now, with the start of the Premier League campaign only two more sleeps away, it’s time for boss Jürgen Klopp to start thinking about our starting XI to face down the Canaries of Norwich.
So does that mean that Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are in that contention?
“I think so, it looks like [they are available to start]. But how it is with these kind of things, we have nothing to rush in this department,” Klopp told the club website.
“We just have to make then a decision on who will start, who will come on, things like this and if I think they are ready for 90 minutes then they are ready to start. If I think we have to take them off earlier then it makes no sense because centre-half is not actually a position where you want to change during a game and so we will see.
“But both look really good. An intense season is coming up. We will see how we decide that.”
Currently, incredibly, all of our center defenders are ready to play in one way or another - be that without injury or just barely match ready, including the elusive Ben Davies and new kid Ibrahim Konate. Surely the best type of problem for the man in charge of putting together that starting lineup ahead of Saturday.
“It sends a good message actually: that’s the way we have to play, that’s the way you have to perform,” Klopp continued.
“If you want to be in the team that’s actually the lowest level allowed and so that’s what we have to try now to figure out.
“Yesterday [Tuesday] was a day off, today [Wednesday] and tomorrow [Thursday] sessions, and then Friday the [matchday] -1, so there are some decisions to make but these decisions are for one game, not for the season. So it’s not that much a headache, to be honest.”
Thankfully with the addition of Konate, and if Gomez and Joël Matip stay fit, we won’t be faced with the same type of catastrophe we experienced last season. Even if Ben Davies sticks around, more warm bodies in that position couldn’t hurt the marathon that is a Premier League season.